Born, raised, and currently residing on the South Side of Lansing, Michigan, Samskee is a multi-focused artist. Beginning as a double bassist in grade school, he discovered the fun of derelict buildings and graffiti while on a tour with the Blue Lake International String Orchestra in 2003. From that moment onward, drawing, painting, and design became an obsession in his life.
Starting college with a major in Classical Bass Performance, he endured a year until he was advised against taking a Calculus 3 class. Finding that stupid, he switched to a major in Meteorology. This only led to discovering and mastering design programs while working as a student meteorologist whose primary duty was to update weather pages for various newspapers for the NY/CT area. By the summer of 2006, Samskee scraped together some artwork- some random graffiti walls and terrible pencil drawings, and applied to Kendall College of Art and Design. After two attempts and no real formal art training previous to applying, he was accepted.
Moving back to Lansing after graduating in early 2010 with a degree in Interactive Design, Samskee has assisted with organizing several murals in Lansing while working steady jobs throughout. From screen printing to Linux hosting tech work to monitoring online ad servers, Samskee has a proven track record of being able to adapt and learn quickly to find creative solutions to problems.
Outside of work and art, Samskee enjoys hanging out on his home compound with his 2 dogs and cat- Gilly, Dumpster, and Sun Bun. As of January 2018, he has left his career in IT in pursuit of deeper artistic work.
Music Performance and Meteorology• Fall 2004 to Spring 2006
One year, music performance, the next, meteorology. Participated in Math Club, Meteorology Club, Roots and Shoots club, Orchestra, and various other musical ensembles at WCSU. Tutored Math(up to Calc 3) and Physics from 2005-2006. Also did work for the WCSU Echo, and worked as a student meteorologist updating local newspaper forecasts.
BFA Digital Media: Interactive Design• Fall 2009
Participated in the 2006 USGBC Emerging Green Builders competition, and received first runner up. Also played with the Kent Philharmonia Orchestra and the GRCC Mariachi band.
Jr NOC Technician• December 2016 - January 2018
Monitoring and reporting server and network-related issues in a big data environment managing large adserving clusters. Assisted with writing runbooks to diagnose server issues across a variety of services hosted around the world to provide constant and efficient ad serving, bid placement, and bid winning.
Level 3 Linux Support Technician• February 2012 - August 2016
Assisted customers in a helpdesk-style environment via email tickets, livechat, and phone calls regarding various issues ranging from general server trouble, spam, code/software issues, malware/virus detection and removal, difficulties with site migrations, and DNS. Also assisted with training newer coworkers to strengthen the team.
Web Designer• August 2011 - February 2012
Maintained and updated the site and blog for M3, as well as the Capital Area Women's Lifestyle Magazine. Created sites using a variety of CMSes(primarily Wordpress), along with HTML5/CSS. Assisted with various IT tasks around the two offices, including email client problems and printer magic.
Production Manager• February 2011 - August 2011
Was responsible for keeping the shop clean and stocked with supplies and coated screens ready for printing. Counted in shirt orders, helped to prepare artwork for print, burned screens, printed shirts, and made sure orders going out were complete without flaws.
I've got skills, but there's always room to learn with every skill and craft.
Done for a class at Kendall College of Art and DesignGraphic Design
Drawing originally done in Illustrator, made into a .gif. Wait for it.Digital Illustration
Commissioned for a fogponics company out of Adrian, MI.Branding, Logo design
Logo commissioned for a restaurant in Brighton, MIBranding, Logo design
Drawing done for fun in 2010.digital illustration
Illustration of one of the killbots for fun.Digital illustration
Illustration done for apparel printing.Digital illustration
Illustration done for personal holiday cardsDigital illustration
Digital self portrait done in Adobe IllustratorDigital illustration
Logo done for local student's projectLogo design, branding
Illustration/design done for local painting event in 2016Digital illustration, graphic design
Illustration/design done for gig posterDigital illustration, graphic design
Commissioned to paint a creative representation of the company's brand, which utilized the word "up" within the Billups nameMurals, abstract type, design
Collaborative project with Kathy Sue Allen Photography in which I spray painted on a bridal dress. An interesting experience for all.Fine art
Mural painted as the guest artist of REACH's Teen Open Studio on the side of Riverview Church in 2015.Murals
Painted for "The Everyday People Project", a photography exhibit showcasing JD Urban and Terry Johnston's photography in 2012 at Richard App Gallery. I was asked to paint some walls, and delivered. This is one of three walls done, and this is obviously the best of the three.Murals, abstract type funk
Freestyled graffiti lettering on the rooftop with permission from the Diner. Paid in cheeseburger.Abstract Type, Murals
Commissioned by the REO Town Commercial Association to paint the REO Town sign at the corner of Malcolm X and Washington in Lansing, Michigan. This was the original site of the late Deluxe Inn motel, which was covered with artwork before being razed.Signage, Murals
Painted in 2016 on the back of Riverview Church in Lansing, Michigan. The Air National Guard was running a privately-scheduled test, which was a shock to several across mid-Michigan. Totally influenced my painting, and my anxiety for the day.Murals, Painting
Open sign for SCENE MetrospaceSignage, Painting
Commissioned to paint backdrops for one of Neverland's events. Photo credit goes to them, and shoutout to my homegirl KimChi!Events, Painting
Section of a wall I painted inside the gym, quote selected by the owner.Murals, Abstract type
Signage commissioned by the Hair House, with a prexisting logo. Done with spraypaint with the help of a vinyl cutout of the logo used to mask out the logo. Result: Gradient under triangles. Success.Signage, Painting
Freestyle bevel letters done on the side of the Golden Harvest in Lansing, MI. Yes, the other graffiti around the building is done by me.Murals, Painting
Apparently, Sylvester Stallone said this. Overflowing with cheese, commissioned by the Formula 12 gym in Okemos, MI.Murals, Painting, Abstract Type
Part of Aerosol and Audio 2014 in Flint, Michigan. Good times, even though it started raining right after the picture was taken.Painting, Murals
Piece done for a friend-of-a-friend's resource center in Grand Ledge, Michigan. By resources, there's a recording studio, meeting rooms, and other things to promote the arts and business in the area. Fully freestyled with Valspar and RustOLeum.Murals, Painting, Abstract Type
Commissioned to paint their garage door with a skull and crossbones(with wrenches), along with their name.Signage, Murals, Painting
I'd love to work with you, seriously. Send me a message with any ideas you might have, and I'll be glad to toss you an estimate. My rates are stupid-reasonable, and I will work with any budget, given the project is worthy of taking on. Come on, let's party.